FIRST LOOK: CRE Outreach Presents MARCHING ON World Premiere Written and Performed by Military Veterans
CRE Outreach presents the World Premiere of MARCHING ON, an original play written by and starring eight military veterans from Veterans Empowerment Theatre (VET), a group dedicated to presenting a first-hand view of the soldiers' experiences in their rawest form, unfiltered by press, political, or military censorship. This artistic journey brings veterans' personal stories to life from boot camp to returning home, highlighting the difficulty of transitioning back into society, exposing the inner turmoil of the lasting scars, both external and internal, endured from combat.
For one veteran, her transition unlocks memories that have been hidden away for years, another feels rejected because of the color of his skin, while others realize that, above all, family matters most. Though alone in their stories, these heroes come together as a unit as they search for the strength to keep marching on.
Directed by Greg Shane, Artistic Director of CRE Outreach, MARCHING ON features Veterans Empowerment Theatre (VET) members Josie Benford (AL Army National Guard), Irene Cruz (U.S. Marine Corps), Paul E. Johnson (U.S. Navy), Monty Montgomery (U.S. Air Force), Jefferson Reid (U.S. Army), Mason Vokes (Reno Air National Guard), Judith Welch (U.S. Army), and Carla Brame Wilkerson (U.S. Marine Corps).
A special engagement of MARCHING ON will take place in the Lovelace Studio Theater at the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210 on Thursday, June 28 and Friday, June 29, 2018 at 8pm.
The play will continue its theatrical run July 13-22, 2018 at The Blue Door, 9617 Venice Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 3pm. Opened in April 2018, The Blue Door, CRE Outreach's new theater in Culver City, is the first of its kind: a dedicated performing space for the voices and stories of people historically marginalized by society.
Running time is 90 minutes with a 10-minute intermission. Single tickets are priced at $15. Tickets and information at www.creoutreach.org. Press interested in reviewing MARCHING ON are encouraged to attend either performance at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on June 28 or 29. Press reservations or interview requests should be directed to Shari Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Lynn Shane
In the order they appear from the top in this announcement, here are the MARCHING ON cast names (from left) in each photo:
1. Judith Welch (U.S. Army)
2. Mason Vokes (Reno Air National Guard) and Josie Benford (AL Army National Guard)
3. Monty Montgomery (U.S. Air Force) and Paul E. Johnson (U.S. Navy)
4. Carla Brame Wilkerson (U.S. Marine Corps)
5. Jefferson Reid (U.S. Army)
About CRE Outreach
CRE Outreach is a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to empowering underserved youth, people with disabilities, and military veterans in greater Los Angeles. CRE stands for Create, Reflect, Empower-words that encompass the process, focus, and targeted outcomes of our programs. Since 2007, CRE Outreach has utilized theatre, the performing arts, and educational programs as a means to enhance self-esteem, encourage self-expression, and empower individuals to overcome the challenges in their lives. Read more about CRE Outreach online: https://creoutreach.org.
About Veterans Empowerment Theatre (VET)
VET features a variety of performing arts workshops and opportunities that give our nation's brave service members a safe environment to voice their own heroic stories, personal tragedies, triumphs, and experiences through theatre. Many veterans upon returning from war often turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of dealing with trauma experienced during active duty - many times resulting in homelessness or incarceration. According to the American Journal of Public Health, "Veterans returning from war zone deployment are at higher risk for mental health problems and drug and alcohol abuse." Read more about VET online: https://creoutreach.org/our-programs/veterans-empowerment-theatre/
About The Blue Door
One of the foremost goals of CRE Outreach has been the creation of their own studio and performance space. Thanks to many generous private donors and a highly successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017, that goal has been achieved with the complete renovation of a two-story building in Culver City, now known as THE BLUE DOOR. With workshop, rehearsal, and 50-seat performance space, the updated facility welcomes all to experience how the performing arts can enhance self-esteem, encourage self-expression, and empower individuals to overcome the challenges in their lives.
About the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
Since opening its doors in October 2013, The Wallis has produced or presented more than 150 dance, theatre, opera, classical music and family programs to an ever-expanding audience. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Paul Crewes and Managing Director Rachel Fine, The Wallis brings audiences world-class theater, dance and music, performed by many of the world's most talented and sought-after artists. Featuring eclectic programming that mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its notability as the entertainment capital of the world, The Wallis offers original and revered works from across the U.S. and around the globe. The mission of The Wallis is to create, present and celebrate unique performing arts events and educational programs that reflect the rich cultural diversity of our community.
Nominated for 47 Ovation Awards, four L.A. Drama Critic's Circle Awards and the recipient of six architectural awards, The Wallis is a breathtaking 70,000-square-foot venue that celebrates the classic and the modern and was designed by Zoltan E. Pali, FAIA of Studio Pali Fekete architects. The building features the restored, original 1933 Beverly Hills Post Office (on the National Register of Historic Places) that serves as the theater's dramatic yet welcoming lobby, and houses the 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, GRoW at The Wallis: A Space for Arts Education (a gift of Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Family and the Annenberg Foundation) and the contemporary 500-seat, state-of-the-art Bram Goldsmith Theater. Together, these structures embrace the city's history and its future, creating a performing arts destination for L.A.-area visitors and residents alike. For more information about The Wallis, please visit: TheWallis.org. Like The Wallis on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.